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‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Leads Box Office, but the Giant Lizard Is Already in Retreat

"Nobody" starring Bob Odenkirk held strong in tandem with its PVOD debut, but the MonsterVerse blockbuster looks shaky.

Godzilla vs. Kong

Godzilla vs. Kong

Warner Bros./Legendary Entertainment

Each week, more theaters open, more restrictions fall, and more people travel, eat in restaurants, and visit amusement parks. Meanwhile, moviegoing remains static. With no new wide releases the top 10 titles earned about $18 million, for perhaps $20 million total. Next weekend will be better since Warner Bros. opens “Mortal Kombat” April 23 (along with its day-and-date HBO Max premiere).

Godzilla vs. Kong” continued as #1, accounting for more than a third of all admissions. It stands at $80 million domestic and it will likely it will pass $100 million all while showing for free for HBO Max subscribers. Worldwide, it is at $390 million in theaters even while missing multiple key markets. Added revenue from streaming is indirect, measured by new and sustained subscriptions. With its estimated $165 million budget, along with marketing costs, will the film enter profit? Even with the pandemic constraints, it likely will.

The film’s success comes with indications of lack of sustained enthusiasm, dropping 44 percent in its third weekend. Only the second weekend of Lionsgate’s poorly received “The Voyagers” dropped more, with 43 percent, while three holdovers actually increased. Three actually rose this weekend. Most impressively, Universal’s revenge thriller “Nobody” dropped only five percent on the same weekend as its PVOD debut.

Bob Odenkirk as Hutch Mansell in "Nobody," directed by Ilya Naishuller.


Allen Fraser/Unive

“Godzilla vs. Kong” outperformed all expectations, and Warners deserves praise for what it achieved, but the lack of sustainability is a concern. Was the audience limited? Its ‘A’ Cinemascore to the contrary, did word of mouth hurt the film? Is it the HBO Max factor? These are the questions studios ponder.

Ongoing COVID issues in Europe and other international markets mean that studios will continue to hedge their bets. Domestic audiences could return in large numbers when these are released, but meantime the losses keep mounting.

“In the Earth,” Ben Wheatley’s horror film that premiered at Sundance 2021, took in $506,000 in 570 theaters to take eighth place. At a minimum, this will elevate the title for whatever route it takes in home viewing; for now, it is theater only.

Among Oscar contenders in theaters, “Minari” did $140,000 in 745 theaters, “The Father” took in $144,705 in 689, and “Promising Young Woman” $100,000 in 636. All have minimal per-theater averages, and have home availability via VOD platforms (“Minari” and “The Father” are premium; “Nomadland” from Searchlight also has added that option to its Hulu play).

In the Earth

“In the Earth”


The Top Ten

1. Godzilla vs. Kong (Warner Bros.) Week 3; Last weekend #1; also on HBO Max

$7,705,000 (-44%) in 3,001 theaters (-83); PTA: $2,567; Cumulative: $80,515,000

2. Nobody (Universal) Week 4; Last weekend #2; also on Premium VOD

$2,520,000 (-5%) in 2,405 theaters (+5); PTA: $1,048; Cumulative: $19,050,000

3. The Unholy (Sony) Week 3; Last weekend #3

$2,060,000 (-14%) in 2,057 theaters (+207); PTA: $1,001; Cumulative: $9,563,000

4. Raya and the Last Dragon (Disney) Week 7; Last weekend #4; also on Premium VOD

$1,900,000 (-14%) in 1,945 theaters (+4); PTA: $937; Cumulative: $37,675,000

5. Tom & Jerry (Warner Bros.) Week 8; Last weekend #6; also on Premium VOD

$1,090,000 (-10%) in 2,028 theaters (-52); PTA: $537; Cumulative: $42,577,000

6. Voyagers (Lionsgate) Week 2; Last weekend #5

$790,000 (-43%) in 1,996 theaters (+24); PTA: $396; Cumulative: $12,989,000

7. The Girl Who Believed in Miracles (Atlas) Week 3; Last weekend #7

$(est.) 565,000 (+4%) in 1,012 theaters (+112); PTA: $558; Cumulative: $(est.) 2,019,000

8. In the Earth (Neon) NEW – Metacritic: 60

$506,000 in 547 theaters; PTA: $925; Cumulative: $506,000

9. The Courier (Roadside Attractions) Week 5; Last weekend #8; also on Premium VOD

$462,830 (+6%) in 922 theaters (-85); PTA: $501; Cumulative: $5,449,000

10. The Croods: A New Age (Universal) Week 21; Last weekend #10; also on VOD

$310,000 (+27%) in 636 theaters (+30); PTA: $487; Cumulative: $57,090,000


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